It’s a story that spans more than 200 years, now available in one notable exhibition featuring history-making companies like Western States Envelope & Label.
On Sept.13, 2016, the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum launched a new virtual exhibition, “America’s Mailing Industry.” It tells the story of the partnership between the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and private industry that’s helped American citizens and businesses communicate and conduct business for more than two centuries. It conveys that connection that helps people shop, ship, deliver, communicate and conduct transactions, gain information, seek entertainment, build relationships, enhance communities and foster citizenship.
The mailing industry consists of all those that communicate with customers and constituents through the U.S. mail on a large scale—from direct marketers and publishers, to nonprofits and public entities—as well as all the businesses that help prepare mail, including ad agencies, print shops, software vendors and transportation providers. The partnership between the mailing industry and the postal system is a critical part of the American economy, as its total economic value exceeds $1 trillion and it employs almost 8 million people.
“America’s mailing industry is quite possibly the most successful government—private sector partnership in our nation’s history,” said Allen Kane, director of the museum. “We are excited to tell this story, as most people don’t even know the industry exists.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to be part of this exhibit,” noted Tom Rewolinski, president and CEO of Western States Envelope & Label. “We’re proud to share our strong history and reputation in this memorable format.”
The virtual exhibition offers stories of the mailing industry that focus on how companies, entrepreneurs and multigenerational family businesses, in partnership with the USPS, have helped to create and enhance commerce and communications channels throughout American history.
The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world.
About Western States Envelope & Label
Western States Envelope & Label serves a national market of printers, distributors and mailing service providers. The company is headquartered in Butler, Wis. and operates five plants, including one label plant. In business since 1908, Western States Envelope & Label is known for its expansive offerings, advanced manufacturing techniques and commitment to environmental initiatives.